On some of the ship missions, there is an optional objective of "sink ships by firing on their powder stores".

I know how this works broadly - I've shot up some ships and got the specific target that I can hit with my small gun. The problem is I don't know how you expose the powder stores and much more often I sink the ship before any mini-target appears. For me, it seems to be random chance whether you get the powder stores exposed or not, but I'm sure that there are ways to do it more precisely.

So is there a technique to exposing a ship's powder stores? What is the best way to complete these bonus objectives?

(So far, I've repeated one mission about 10 times because I keep sinking a ship the old-fashioned way (or occasionally accidentally ram one and sink it that way).)


8 Answers 8


It's a pain in the neck. You need to ram the ship in the bow. Chain shot helps to disable the ships. It took me a lot of tries, but it can be done that way.

  • 1
    Having tried it a tactic based on this worked. Chain shot to disable the ships allowed me to target my cannon fire specifically at their bows which then reveals the powder stores. It was tricky (I did once destroy a ship before getting the powder store still) but this answer vastly upped my success rate. I also notice amusingly that when an enemy man o' war rammed me that it exposed its powder stores. That is one badly designed ship. ;-)
    – Chris
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 21:13

I know this an old thread for an old game, however for those that play this years after. Best way to complete this mission is to either let the ship ram you or you ram them head on (the tip of your ship hits the tip of their ship). This immediately exposes their gunpowder reserves. Took me a LONG while to figure this out. Make sure to hit the frigates at half mast or the ramming force could sink them


I've tried with heat shot, it takes a lot of damage, but in close range. After the second hit, it show the weak point for the small weapon. At least this helped me with Man-o-war ships.


Sure chain shot and ramming works for some, but I tried that tactic over 10 times, lol.

What works for me is chain shot, and then once I can position myself to where I can fire at their front, I stop with the sails, and I just try and hit their front with a few cannonballs, purposefully making most of the cannonballs miss. That way, you don't risk sinking it. I hope this helps someone.


Make the target ship ram you with the front of their vessel by maneuvering into their path.


The trick is to use "Take Cover" whenever you're not firing. You can still steer the ship while in cover. If you don't, you won't last.

Take down the first bunch of small ships with cannonballs (round shot) whilst taking cover in between so you don't get damaged. You want full health for part 2.

Then ram the first of the 3 big ships at Half Sail head-on, exposing the weak spot; lock on to the weak spot and blow him away. TAKE COVER! Change to chain shot, and take down the next 2 big ships' masts. Now they're sitting ducks. Change back to cannonballs (round shot) and unleash on the front of their ships - taking cover in between every round, because they will fire back. Enough damage will expose the weak spot - lock on and blow them away.

The end.

This took me about 40 tries - and the first 35, I really didn't use the Take Cover option. It is essential to completing this task, and quite simple once you do.


Best way to do this is to get rid of the enemy frigate's or man-o'-war's sails with the chain shot to stop the ships from moving, and then line up with the front of the enemy ship/the bow and lightly fire round shots at the base/bottom of the ship where the powder stores are located; it doesn't work if you shoot the top/deck of the ship. You'll then be given a circular prompt to use your swivel gun to fire at the powder store, and bam! Piece of cake! It's pretty easy once you understand what you have to do.

P.S. Wait until the ship is above your ship to fire in order to guarantee a hit to the base of the ship.


Took me a few tries, but looks like fewer than most of the people here (it helps that the last few Privateer missions were obnoxious enough that I pre-looked it up when I had the name when I selected it). What were they thinking, giving me suicidal allies for the Wolf one??!?!).

Firstly, I want to throttle them for wording it this way. This was my last Privateer mission, EVERY OTHER TIME they referred to this as "weak points", and now suddenly it's "firing on their powder stores"? As far as I recall, the "weak point" thing was never explained as such.

The first "fleet" is no problem, of course; 2 shots each from the pivot gun (left trigger instead of right. I'm on Xbox 360, if the button assignment is the same on the PlayStation, L2 instead of R2), or try to line up at least 2 for Grape Shot. I find the one on the left is a loner, so I sail between him and the rest, getting him early with the Pivot, then Grape Shot and Pivot for the rest. On to the real problem.

I believe this would be one Man O' War and two Frigates, mostly going by the nomenclature used in Black Flag. At first, they all looked the same to me, but I realized the Frigates seem weirdly short when I see them from the side.

I start by firing Chain Shot at the MOW. I find this is the only weapon I have to fire ahead of them; if I have them perfectly in my sights every chain misses. This sometimes takes me 2 shots. When I'm successful, the game tells me how to change to Round Shot (i.e., the default / first weapon. Automatically starts as Up on my directional pad. Between defaults and my settings, I ended up with Chain to the right, Flame down, and Grape to the left. You can change this in the Weapon Select screen, Right Bumper, or R1). Then I "run off" and focus on the Frigates. Most of the time, this took the fight well away from where the MOW was sitting, so I could freely ignore him.

I find that they can each take ONE barrage of Flame Shot, so I did that. After that, I switched to Round Shot and make sure it at least half misses (you can tell by the white glow on the water when you hold the trigger). After several half-hits, I would get that blessed weak spot.

The time that worked just now, I lucked out, and the second Frigate rammed me at an angle (like in a car chase movie where parallel cars bump each other). I'm not sure if it made a difference, but I dropped to Half Sail at the last second before impact. Then I had the ship in my face with a giant weak spot (and my guys missed, the aiming reticle moving off at the last second! I turned away to not bump him again and got him after the reload).

Finally, to finish off the Man O' War, I sailed up to him and "parked" perpendicular to him (i.e., if he could move, I'd be in the perfect spot for him to T-bone me at a 90-degree angle, though I'm not sure if I was in front of or behind him. He might have forward-facing weapons, so that can make a difference). In that position, he couldn't shoot me. I angled things so that again most of my Round Shot would miss, and several shots later I had my weak spot, then my win!

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